Liverpool v RangersOct 4 LIVE
Thomas Tuchel will not change Chelsea tactics to cover N’Golo Kante injury
World Cup-winning France midfielder Kante will miss at least another month.
Thomas Tuchel will not tweak Chelsea’s tactics despite lamenting the “huge influence” of N’Golo Kante’s latest injury absence.
World Cup-winning France midfielder Kante will miss at least another month with his latest hamstring problem, leaving a notable chink in Chelsea’s armour.
Mateo Kovacic has shaken off a knee injury but is not ready to start Saturday’s Premier League clash with Leicester.
Connor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be the main candidates to partner Jorginho at the base of midfield, with Tuchel insisting Kante’s absence will not force a major reshuffle.
“We are talking about four weeks plus for N’Golo,” said Tuchel.
“I told you at the end of last season he is our key player normally. He gives something to our team that no other player in the world can give to any other team. That makes him a key player.
“If your key player is out, it’s a situation you don’t like but have to deal with. It has huge influence.
“It’s difficult to replace him, he’s very unique. We were full of hope after pre-season because we built his pre-season very individual.
“He had a long pre-season, a good pre-season, felt good. For many years he felt very strong, getting enough rest and build-up to be the player he can be for us.
“We started with one game a week so the hopes were high that he can play consistently for us.
“If we build another system, I don’t know. We have trust in our players. It will maybe be the same system.
“We played many games, unfortunately, without him in the same structure. It will be slightly different because every player is a bit different.
“That is the challenge to adapt to this, use different players differently. To change completely because N’Golo is not there, I don’t think so.”
Croatia midfielder Kovacic’s return will hand Chelsea a clear boost, with the Blues bidding to hit back from Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at Leeds.
But Tuchel confirmed the former Real Madrid man is not yet fit enough to start.
“Kova is back in the group and ready to play maybe 20 minutes,” said Tuchel.
“We miss him as a personality, his experience and his quality. It’s maybe 20 minutes at the moment that he can play.
“It was his first training week without reaction in the knee so we cannot rush things otherwise we will just sabotage our own plans with him.
“We need him long term. It’s good to have him back and as an option on the bench.”